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BMW adds final piece to X3 puzzle

Top-shelf: BMW has added the flagship xDrive30d turbo-diesel variant to its X3 mid-sized luxury SUV range.

Flagship six-cylinder turbo-diesel X3 arrives in BMW’s Australian showrooms

26 Jul 2011

BMW’s X3 xDrive30d has arrived in local showrooms, marking the arrival of the flagship six-cylinder inline turbo-diesel variant for the all-new mid-size luxury SUV model range released here in March.

As announced at the X3 launch, the xDrive30d becomes the most expensive member of the second-generation five-seat wagon range, priced from $74,900.

The six-cylinder diesel powerplant is a significant step up from the previous-generation X3 3.0d, producing 190kW (up 30kW) and maximum torque of 560Nm (up 60Nm), the latter available between 2000 and 2750rpm.

The sole transmission option is the ZF eight-speed automatic that is standard across the rest of the X3 range.

Fuel-saving measures such as brake energy regeneration, an idle-stop function and an electric power steering system see claimed fuel economy cut to 6.0 litres per 100km – down from 7.7L/100km in the old model – while carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced to 159g/km (down from 206g/km).

14 center imageStandard features for the new X3 flagship include 18-inch ‘light-alloy’ wheels, an automatic tailgate, power-adjustable Nevada leather seat trim and an ‘X-Line’ chrome and aluminium exterior highlight package.

The xDrive30d joins the volume-selling xDrive20d, powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that produces 135kW and 380Nm while sipping a claimed 5.6 litres of fuel per 100km.

The final member of the three model range, the petrol-powered xDrive28i, belies its nameplate by using a 3.0-litre inline six that has 190kW and 310Nm on tap, with claimed fuel consumption of 9.0L/100km.

BMW projects that the new flagship X3 will account for around 20-25 per cent of total sales, with the lion’s share of customers continuing to opt for the smaller four-cylinder diesel variant.

The company’s product communications manager for Australia, Lucy McLellan, told GoAuto that 43 xDrive30ds have been sold so far, with orders having commenced in the past month.

Sales of the second-generation X3, which fits neatly between the X1 and X5 in BMW’s SUV line-up in terms of both size and price, have so far been marginally lower than its main rival – the Audi Q5.

According to industry statistician VFACTS, the Munich-based car-maker’s Australian arm chalked up 753 X3 sales between March and June, while Audi shifted 1006 Q5s over the same period.

The X3’s June sales of 194 units placed it behind the Audi Q5, as well as Volvo’s XC60 mid-sized luxury SUV, which has just received a host of tweaks for the 2012 model year.

BMW X3pricing:&nbsp
xDrive28i &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp $71,900

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